The Hero alone as most of the townfolk have learned to avoid him. Occasionally though, both he and the town doctor will rush out side by side after a gun fight since neither of them can load up the loser alone. Compare The Coroner and Creepy Mortician. If you're looking for the wrestler, see The Undertaker.
open/close all folders
Anime & Manga
- Done both cheerfully and creepily in Black Butler where the undertaker is an important source of information on the bodies of murder victims. This ties the archetype in to the many coroners seen in crime dramas where the professionals involved are either cheery eccentrics.
- Undertakers in the Lucky Luke comics usually sport yellow or pale-greenish skin and are very cheerful at work, only sometimes miffed when some of their prospective clients are lacking professionality and shoo them away when they break out their tape measure. Some of them even keep pet vultures. Lucky Luke's first illustrator, Morris, also had the habit of using drawings of people he didn't like (especially teachers) for those roles.
Films — Animation
- An undertaker was shown in Balto, making tiny caskets for the sick children that everyone thought were going to die. It was used to convey the tragedy of the situation, as the undertaker himself seems very mournful.
- An undertaker is seen measuring and hammering a coffin together for Rango in Rango. For extra creepy, it's a spider.
Films — Live-Action
- The only character who earns an honest living in the Clint Eastwood film A Fistful of Dollars is the the undertaker. And he's pretty cheery too, until Clint's character wipes out the remaining gang members. (Upset about running out of business?)
Joe: Get three coffins ready.
(later, after gunning down four men)
Joe: My mistake. Four coffins...
- Also the cooper in Yojimbo, the film Dollars was based on.
- One briefly appears in Back to the Future Part III when Marty is headed for a gunfight with Buford Tannen, measuring Marty for his coffin while the latter is still upright and breathing.
- The Quick and the Dead has an undertaker who can tell the height of newcomers just by looking at them. While they're on horseback.
- Marshall (that's his name) in Carry On Cowboy is mistaken for dead early on and measured up by the undertaker. Later, when he is off to heroically save the town, the undertaker gives him a reassuring grin and tells him not to worry, he kept the measurements just in case.
- High Noon. On hearing Marshall Kane is going to stay and fight Frank Miller and his men, a store owner eagerly tells his carpenter to start making up several coffins, as no matter who wins there will be a demand. He's embarrassed when Kane comes round as the carpenter is banging away in the back, and discretely tries to get him to stop. Kane is unimpressed, and sarcastically says he'll leave them to get on with their coffin-making.
- From a movie parodying every western trope under the sun, Lemonade Joe's undertaker is exactly as expected. He's pleased whenever there is shooting and a body.
- The Undertaker, while well known as a wrestler, no longer fits the Western Character. He began as a mortician character before evolving as a guy has gone from using death to intimidate his opponents to a zombie to the Grim Reaper to a Dark Messiah Cult leader to a Badass Biker and back again as The Artifact. These days he's regarded as the best in the business, the guy who rolls around a few times a year for WrestleMania or to take part in a hot angle.
- The Backwater Gospel focuses on a mysterious, silent undertaker who travels from town to town, and is said to never leave until he claims a body. Despite how ominious he is, the undertaker never actually does anything—every death that happens in story occurs either because of accidents, or from the townsfolks own paranoia.
- Tex Avery MGM Cartoons:
- One non-Western appearance of note is in Tex Avery's Dumb Hounded (the first Droopy cartoon). As the wolf falls down a tall building, an undertaker jumps after him, measures him, and jumps back up.
- Also used in the Tex Avery cartoon Little 'Tinker, in a series of gags in which a skunk is attempting to woo female forest creatures by impersonating Frank Sinatra, and some not-too-subtle jabs at how skinny Sinatra is are made by showing the skunk fall through a knothole on the stage, singing from an iron lung, being outweighed by a feather on a scale, and of course, at one point an undertaker comes up from behind him and measures him for a casket while he's singing.
- In the Looney Tunes short "Drip-Along Daffy", the undertakers have the tallest building in town.
- On a The Flintstones episode where Fred is made sheriff of a western town, he initially mistakes the undertaker as a tailor measuring him for a suit.